[DNS] Time for the rulestochangeregardingtransferringdomainnamelicences

[DNS] Time for the rulestochangeregardingtransferringdomainnamelicences

From: K Heitman & Co <kheitman§westnet.com.au>
Date: Mon, 26 Sep 2005 22:04:33 +0800
Vic trolled:

> you ignore the fact that the only public that should involved in a 
> private sale of a domain are the 2 parties.

That's unreal. The Federal Government asserts control of the .au
domain space, and has appointed auDA to manage the .au namespace on
behalf of Her Majesty. 

> you ignore the fact that
> secondary markets would create more efficient allocation of names
> allow owners to unlock any real values in names. you ignore the
> that you are tying up cybersquating with secondary markets which
> unrelated.

There have been good points made as to where to draw the line, but
unless there is an acknowledgement by list members that a domain name
is a licence, not property, there will be little communication. As
Crown property, the .au domain space is subject to the Federal
Government's assertion of ownership of every one of the .au names. 
> there are no public issues in having a secondary market. to even 
> suggest we need to consider "public good" when deciding if two
> be allowed to exchange a name is digital socialism at its worst.
its a 
> proposterous invasion of privacy an abuse of liberty and freedom.

Digital socialism is a cute term of abuse, but it's actually medieval
law of reserved Crown ownership (which translates nowadays into an
assertion that the Federal Government owns the electromagnetic
spectrum and all possible uses of it). That philosophy preceded Das
Kapital, and indeed the Gutenberg Press.

There is no right to a secondary market for licences - ask Microsoft.
While it has been argued that there is a secondary market for taxi
licences or fishing licences, this varies from State to State at the
whim of the Government. It's not immediately obvious why a secondary
market is in the interests of the owner of .au - the Federal

I don't have any problem with flowers.com.au passing from flower shop
to flower shop as part of a genuine business. If the name has
goodwill value which is not being realised by a tiny retailer, the
online part of their business can be spun off and sold to a mighty
flower empire. 

Other tests always slide towards cyber-squatting, which is why the
present policy requires forms and undertakings. If anyone can buy
flowers.com.au on spec, there is an economically wasteful middleman
fee to pay before the name finds its way back to a genuine business.
Systems which encourage arbitrage are complex to analyse in terms of
overall public good, and so far I haven't seen any statistical
analysis at all despite the wealth of transfer data available.

Though some registrars reckon that the current registrant transfer
policy is too hard for micro-businesses and hard cases, anecdotes
aren't evidence. The next review panel will need more economic
analysis and evidence than the Ayn Rand rhetoric so far. 

> either you as a demand board representative start representing the 
> needs  > of the vast majority of the au name space ie com.au ie 
> businesses or you step aside and let someone on the board who will.

That comment is what inspired me to enter this flame zone. It's
enormously misconceived to ascribe the registrant transfer policy to
the decisions of the auDA Board, let alone any member of it. 

The current restrictions on transfers between registrants were made
as a result of the consultation process of the Name Advisory Panel,
being the decision of the public policy development process which
auDA is subject to. The Board approved the policy, as it is
practically bound to do, on the 8th May 2001, with no division
between the various classes of director. See

As why policy is determined by public consultation, read
http://www.auda.org.au/minutes/minutes-07042000/ - the public
consultation process has been in place from the outset. The
individual directors do not and should not determine policy over .au
- this is properly the role of independent reviews. 

Even if you were correct that the policy needs changing, the auDA
directors can't change it. In the present system, you need to
convince an independent review. The composition of the auDA Board is
not a related issue.

I'm thankful for Bruce's input, though I can't see why his examples
of a secondary market can't be managed under the existing policy,
with (conceded) the necessity for a genuine, documented sale of part
or whole of a business.

Otherwise, to convert the right of a licence-holder to a property
right will require a vesting of .au from the Government to the
private sector. Larry, Kim or Bennett can't do that - it has to be
the Government.

Kimberley Heitman

               Kimberley James Heitman               
Received on Mon Sep 26 2005 - 14:04:33 UTC

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